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a piece of wire measuring 20 feet is attached to a telephone pole as a guy wire. the distance along the ground from the bottom of the pole to the end of the wire is 4 feet greater than the height where the wire is attached to the pole. how far up the pole does the guy wire reach?

  • algebra -

    The guy wire, the telephone phone and the ground form a right-angled triangle.
    Your measurements are x, x+4, and 20.
    To solve for x, you could use the Pythagorean Theorem, a^2+b^2=c^2.

    Let a=x
    Let b=x+4
    Let c=20

    First, plug in the values for a, b and c, and then simplify.

    From here, solve for x by either factoring, or using the quadratic formula (I'm going to use the quadratic formula).

    Now, plug in the values of x into the original formula

    The measurement of the telephone pole is x.
    My values of x are 12 and -16.
    If we substitute the values of x in,
    only x=12 makes sense,
    because a telephone pole with height -16 is impossible
    hope it helps.

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